Storm Brendan: What You Need To Know To Drive Safely In Strong Winds

Storm Brendan has led to weather warnings being issued until at least Wednesday. It’s another reminder of the dangers motorists can face in poor weather conditions…

Be Prepared

Storm Brendan has been striking across the nation at speeds of 60 mph in some places. A combination of heavy rain and strong winds have been wreaking havoc on communities. Such weather conditions can be intimidating even for the most experienced driver. So how can motorists keep themselves safe? Well, the best way is simply to avoid driving altogether if possible. Neil Worth, a safety officer with GEM Motoring Assist, has advised drivers to stay home or consider alternatives to their cars. He said, “we want all road users to be aware of how risk increases when weather conditions become more challenging. So, if your journey is not necessary, then consider delaying it, or using public transport if available”.

Worth advised drivers to avoid driving in wide open spaces, as it’s there winds are at their strongest. He also advised caution when approaching bridges and hilly areas, as they can act as natural funnels for currents of wind. It’s also worth considering that wind isn’t just a danger for motorists, it’s also a risk for other road-users. Worth said, “keep an eye on any large trucks or vehicles towing trailers near you, as their drivers may have difficulty staying in their lane. Be particularly careful around pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, who may all be affected by strong winds.”

Braving The Storm

Storm Brendan has been fierce in places, but it’ll be gone as quickly as it came. That said, there may be many more around the corner. So knowing how to drive in storms is something every driver should concern themselves with. Here’s what you need to know…

Check Your Speed: The faster you drive, the harder it’ll be to control your vehicle if you get caught in cross winds. Drive slower than you usually would, especially when crossing paths with a larger vehicle or the likes of a towed caravan.

Keep Your Distance: It goes without saying, but always keep your distance from other vehicles during a storm. You can easily and suddenly be moved by wind, so ensure you’ve got plenty of space to manoeuvre and avoid a collision.

Avoid Towing: You should never tow in a storm, whether it’s a caravan, trailer or anything in between. They can easily cause you to lose control of your vehicle.

Remove Roof Racks: Leaving things atop of your car during a storm makes it much more susceptible to strong winds,

Listen To Forecasts: Some storms are worse than others. Listen to weather forecasts before making the decision to take to the wheel.

Anticipate Delays: Poor weather conditions almost certainly mean delays. In which case, ensure you’re well stocked up on food, drinks, blankets and a means of communication.

Expect Rain: What’s a storm without rain? Put your headlights on and ensure your windscreen wipers are up to the job before setting out on your journey.

Stay Away From Trees: Almost every time there’s a significant storm in this country a number of cars are struck, or crushed, by trees. Don’t park next to them when there’s a storm raging.

Watch Out For Obstructions: In addition to trees, all sorts of debris can be swept out in the road. By driving slowly, keeping your headlights on and looking far ahead you can anticipate obstructions.

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